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Unique Timing of Double Hip Replacements

Posted on: 01/13/2006
Two orthopedic surgeons offer a different way to do double hip joint replacements. They do the two operations five to seven days apart. The patient doesn't leave the hospital until after both surgeries. Usually both hips are replaced during the same surgery. Sometimes after the first hip replacement, the patient leaves the hospital and comes back six weeks later for the second operation.

Over 32 years, 112 patients had bilateral total hip replacements (THRs) with this unique timing. Most patients had severe osteoarthritis in both hips.

All THRs were done using the same method, though a variety of different implants were used. Over the years the average number of days in the hospital decreased from 25.8 (1972) to 11.8 (2000). Patients were followed for one to 23 years, but on average patients were tracked for about 6.3 years.

The authors report their results compare favorably with other studies of bilateral THRs. Failure rates for patients in this study weren't any higher than in other similar studies. Patients reported excellent recovery and a high level of satisfaction.

The biggest advantage of using this type of timing occurs during rehab. Both hips do well because rehab is not held back by a stiff or painful hip on the nonoperative side. There is also a cost savings with fewer days in the hospital. The greatest cost savings occurs when both hips are done at the same time.

Brian A. Jewett, MD, and Dennis K. Collis, MD. Sequential Bilateral Total Hip Replacement During the Same Hospitalization. In Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. December 2005. No. 441. Pp. 256-261.

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